One day, Birbal and his friend went across the river into the forest for a long walk. Soon in the evening, they were coming back and had to cross a bridge.
The bridge was across a small river. The bridge was very old, and so it was narrow and slippery. Birbal first crossed the bridge and did so without falling down. His friend unfortunately could not cross the bridge. He lost his balance and fell into the water.
Birbal immediately went to help his friend. He removed his belt and threw one end so that his friend could catch the belt and come out. His friend quickly caught the belt and started to pull himself towards the land.
His friend felt so bad that while in the water, he promised Birbal that he would give him twenty gold coins for saving his life.
Birbal said thank you with great anger in his voice. He pulled his belt hard and let his friend go into the water again. The man got shocked and went back into the water with a splash.
The man struggled to swim in the running water and he finally reached the shore. He asked Birbal with great anger, “Why did you do that? If you had helped me, I would not have struggled so much.”
Birbal said, “To collect my reward. I wanted to wear my belt before I collected my reward.”
The man said, “You should have been a good friend and waited for me to come out of the water!”.
Birbal retorted, “You should have been a good friend and waited till you came out of the water! I do not need a reward offer to help you.”
The man realized that he had been a bad friend in offering the reward. Friends do not help each other for money. He apologized a lot to Birbal. He also thanked Birbal for not saving him and for teaching him a lesson about friendship.